Texans lose despite a heroic effort from Deshaun Watson

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans loss to the Eagles

DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans were oh, so close. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Texans fought through a determined Eagles team to secure the AFC South Division crown, but fell short in a 32-30 loss to the defending champion Eagles in Philly. Here's how I saw it:

The Good

- Deshaun Watson lived up to ALL the hype in this game! He put the team on his back and tried to will them to victory. Sure he messed up a few times, but he also accounted for all four touchdowns. His second touchdown pass helped put them up 30-29 with two minutes left.

- Jadaveon Clowney came up with a huge strip sack and fumble recovery that led to Watson's early go ahead touchdown run in the second quarter. He beat the backup left tackle on a speed rush, and then hit Foles right on the arm to strip him. As he wrapped him up and slung him to the ground, he found the ball and recovered it.

-Benardrick McKinney is trying to live up to his $50 million dollar extension and recent Pro Bowl selection with his performance. He made two athletic plays: a pass breakup in the end zone and a juggling interception.

The Bad

-Dylan Cole misplayed a wheel route on 4th down and Justin Reid missed a tackle that allowed Darren Sproles to score a 37-yard touchdown. The communication seemed slightly off before the snap which is why I believe Cole misplayed it, but I don't know why Reid didn't bring Sproles down instead of trying to strip the ball.

-Tyrann Mathieu was burned for an 83-yard touchdown by Nelson Ahgolor. He was beaten deep, recovered, but failed to knock the ball away. When he stumbled in attempt to bat away the pass, Ahgolor made a house call.

-The Eagles passing attack made the Texans secondary look like the one playing with a bunch of backups. Foles went 35 of 49 for 471 yards and four touchdowns. He hit his tight end Zach Ertz for 11 catches with 90 yards and two of those four touchdowns.

The Ugly

-More brain farts in scoring range stalled the second drive of the game and helped seal their fate in the fourth quarter. Watson took an unnecessary sack on both drives. One ended with a field goal, the latter ended in an Eagles recovered fumble. This is getting old and I'm tired of writing it every damn game!

-Kareem Jackson went down with a knee injury and Jonathan Joseph went down with a neck injury. But when receiver Demaryius Thomas went down and was carted off, it was heartbreaking. The other guys may be back at some point, but Thomas appears to be done for the season.

-Refs missed a facemask on two point conversion by Clowney. He clearly grabbed Nick Foles' facemask. Eagles' defensive end Brandon Graham got called for a horrible roughing penalty against Watson. But the call on Clowney with 1:38 left was the worst! Had he not lowered his helmet, they would've flagged him for helmet to helmet. Refs have an impossible job, but they still suck balls at doing it.

The Texans came into this game with an opportunity to secure the division crown. They ran into a more desperate team that needed this win more than they did. They now need the Patriots to lose next week in order to get the two seed.

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Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

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